April 2012 – “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
For almost a decade, that verse from Ephesians 4:29 (ESV) has been the driving force behind the contemporary Christian music band Building 429. The principle expressed in the verse bleeds into more than just the music. It impacts the words lead singer Jason Roy speaks while on stage, during an interview and when leading worship at his local church.
But Scripture was not the only thing that influenced and inspired Roy. He said, “When I was young, it was dc Talk and Third Day. I remember when one of Third Day’s albums came out. It was the first time I heard someone do Christian music and sound like me. I started thinking that I could do that too and started gobbling up all the Christian music I could find.
“I know God’s hand of protection was on me the whole time. I had every opportunity to get lost in the party scene but just didn’t care about it. For some reason, God just turned a light switch on in me and let me know that was just not my life. It wasn’t who I wanted to be. So in 1998 I went to a concert where Third Day headlined with United and Switchfoot opening. I knew then what I wanted to do. From that point, it has been all I’ve worked toward.”
All that hard work paid off when the band got a record label and earned recognition as New Artist of the Year at the 2005 GMA Dove Awards. However, it did not take long for Roy to see there was more to life than the glitz and glamour of the music industry.
Before the band’s latest album, Listen to the Sound, Roy spent a lot of time asking questions. “I had to ask if I really even wanted to do this anymore,” Roy said. Because there was now such a plethora of Christian music, he began to wonder if Building 429 was just adding to the noise. Did God still have kingdom work for the band to complete?
“I had just finished going through the Bible study Experiencing God, which says to see where God is at work and join Him,” Roy said. “There was a point where I didn’t know if God was at work in Building 429, but I knew He was at work in my church, and I jumped into it. I was playing shows with the band on the side, just trying to figure out if this is really what I was supposed to do. I was prayerfully considering that.
“The truth is, I haven’t been home for a New Year’s celebration in 12 years. There is no illusion of grandeur, no real desire in me to be a rock star. I just want to be where God wants me.”
Currently, Jason Roy and Building 429 are touring with WinterJam, an annual Christian concert tour. He is also leading worship at his church, Grace Community Church.
While the band’s sound has certainly matured over the years and is sure to please listeners of all ages, that is no longer Roy’s desire. His newfound desire, the product of months spent ministering to his church and small group, is that he produce a sound that is pleasing to Jesus, the object of his worship and affection.